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CALFORNIA HELICOPTER SCHOOLS AT RISK! What’s at Issue?

Rules issued by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) threaten to harm California flight schools irreparably. Assembly Bill 1140 (AB 1140) will be amended this week by Assemblyman Roger Niello to provide a one-year delayFlight Training Helicopter in implantation, for flight training, of these rules. Ensuring passage of AB 1140 requires your support! 
 
Why It’s Important 
Without the delay in implementation offered by AB 1140, the rules issued by the BPPE will go into effect at the beginning of August and flight schools wanting to remain in operation in the state will have to submit to stiff fees and other onerous requirements as detailed in NATA’s May 6, 2010 regulatory report. The delay offered by AB 1140 will provide the time needed for the California legislature to work with the flight training industry to understand more fully the issues with compliance and to develop a working long-term solution. 
 
What to Do 
NATA urges all of its California members and others concerned about the outcome of this issue to contact their Assemblyman and State Senators and ask for support of AB 1140. The link below provides a tool to help you determine who your representatives are and their mailing addresses.
 
 
Below provides a  sample letter that can be edited and sent to your Assemblyman and Senator 
 
Dear,[Insert name here]
 
[Add your own opening paragraph here. Introduce yourself, your business and/or your airport.]
 
I am writing to ask for your support of AB 1140 (Niello) as amended.  AB 1140 provides a one-year delay in the implementation of AB 48, Chapter 310, Statutes of 2009 and the corresponding regulations issued by the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) for flight training facilities.   The bill also requires the Legislature to hold public informational hearings during this time regarding the appropriateness of regulating flight instruction.  This delay is necessary to provide an opportunity for the Legislature to fully investigate whether and how the flight training industry fits under the regulations of the BPPE.
 
AB 48 enacted the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (Act) and reconstituted the BPPE.   During the AB 48 debate, the flight training industry was not aware of the legislation and not involved in the policy discussions. The industry learned earlier this year, by way of a letter from the BPPE, that it was defined as a postsecondary educational institution and therefore covered under the Act.   This came as an immense surprise to the flight training community because the industry was previously exempt from the former Act by way of a Memorandum of Understanding between the former Bureau and the Federal Aviation Administration.
 
The Act is structured to provide oversight for typical “brick and mortar” private postsecondary educational institutions. That structure is not well suited to provide oversight for an industry as diverse and unique as the flight training industry.  As a result, AB 48 and the regulations being promulgated by the BPPE threaten to irreparably harm the aviation industry in our state as many flight training facilities will be forced to close. The job losses and overall economic harm caused by such a fate would devastate the already fragile California economy.
Fortunately, AB 1140 provides a simple and timely solution to this issue. The one year delay in implementation will allow time for the flight training industry to work in partnership with the Legislature to evaluate the application of the provisions of the Act to flight training facilities in a manner that does not threat to destroy the industry. 
Thank you for your consideration and support of AB 1140. 
 
Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]
 
Please fax your letter to all your representatives as soon as possible. Also, NATA requests that you fax us a copy of your letters so we may maintain a file for upcoming hearings on AB 1140. 
 
It is imperative that you contact your representatives this week! The California legislature goes on recess beginning July 2. 
 
NATA Position 
NATA fully supports AB 1140 and believes that its passage and signing by Governor Schwarzenegger is the best means to ensure that California flight training facilities are not forced to close due to the rules issued by the BPPE. NATA stands ready to work closely with the legislature during the delay period to find workable long-term solutions to these issues. 
 
Status 
The California legislature is scheduled to be in session only until the end of August.
 
ACT NOW, time is limited! 
Staff Contact: Michael France 
Director, Regulatory Affairs 
mailto:mfrance@nata.aero 
Posted in: Press Releases
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